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So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world, from shiny new things in Paris to reservations in Milan and new global partnerships.
· Ritz-Carlton Chicago to Become a Proper Ritz-Carlton: There has been a lot of changes to the Four Seasons portfolio lately and here comes another one--The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, which despite its name, has been a Four Seasons property for quite some time--will drop all association with Four Seasons and become a real deal Ritz-Carlton on August 1. A FlyerTalk member posted this message on the board:
"On July 31, 2015, Four Seasons will be concluding its management of The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel). Effective August 1, 2015, the Hotel will become a full participant in the Ritz-Carlton system. This means that the Hotel will no longer be a Ritz-Carlton in name only, but it will be a part of the Ritz-Carlton family of hotels."
Now the hotel will no longer have to correct guests when they get excited about staying at a Ritz-Carlton. Fortunately, those lake views won't change.
· The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Has At Last Declared Independence: After experiencing a rebirth under Jason Pomeranc's Thompson Hotels before becoming a Commune Hotel, the Hollywood Roosevelt is striking out on its own again. The nearly 90-year-old hotel announced that "owners have once again taken over the management reigns, while maintaining a consulting agreement with Commune Hotels & Resorts." There were whispers two years ago that the Roosevelt wanted to go its own way so this looks like a nice a little compromise.
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File this under things-we-never-thought-we’d-write / bombshell news: Four Seasons Hotels will take over the management of Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, the iconic hotel at the tip of the Cap Ferrat peninsula on France’s Côte d’Azur, as of May 8. Yes, that is May 8 – as in less than three weeks away.
We were surprised when Four Seasons bowed out of its Bangkok hotel on Radjadamri Road, but a placeholder website for a riverside residence development told us that the group wasn’t done with the Thai capital. It wasn’t, with the announcement of a new 312-room hotel mere weeks later.
The surprises aren’t over though, as a more extensive website for Four Seasons Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (there’s a mouthful) tells us these two things: the residence tower may be a high-rise (73 stories in fact), but the hotel will be an interesting, multi-level but low-slung building, and the overall development incorporates the 100-suite Capella Bangkok.
The above rendering shows you how that is all going to work: the slender tall tower on the right will have 355 Four Seasons residences, which are all corner units. To the right of that is the Four Seasons hotel, to the left the Capella. The buildings on the far left of the rendering will tell you more about the development’s location: right at the edge is one of the wings of the Shangri-La hotel, while the lit-up cupola is the famous Hangover II bar at Lebua at State Tower.
Ethan Stowell is a man of many talents. With nine restaurants under his belt, a pasta company (Lagana Foods), a pizza shop (Ballard Pizza Company), a wine storage facility and a close-to-the-heart charity event, Eat Run Hope, it’s a miracle this Seattle chef has time to sleep. Like ever.
To add to Stowell’s already impressive resume, it was announced yesterday that the local celeb chef had partnered with Four Seasons Hotel Seattle to create a new restaurant concept to replace ART Restaurant & Lounge. This move can only be a good thing for a restaurant that’s left us, well, lukewarm in the past. (Brunch and its all-you-can-eat cheese buffet have been the exceptions. You can never go wrong with a steady flow of cheese.)
The plan is to move Chef Joe Ritchie of Stowell’s Mkt. to the new venue, which will highlight Pacific Northwest shellfish, as well as a “top-notch” burger. Stowell will oversee the menu and help shape the new space and ambiance.
We’ve just about gotten over the 2010 closure of Stowell’s Union, which was catty-corner from the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle spot. Like all of Stowell’s openings, we can’t wait to see what he does next. Especially in such a prime downtown destination with sentimental ties. The restaurant is slated to open in late-spring.
[Photo: Four Season Hotel Seattle/Facebook]
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
When contributor JetsetCD toured the Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo in 2011, she was impressed with the pool and beach options, the bi-level spa, a putt-putt course (in addition to an Arnold Palmer 18-hole course), a grass tennis court and the surprise sightings of white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, Coatis and iguanas.
All this and more made it not surprising that the room rate hovered at nearly $400 a night. But now there's even more to be wowed about at the resort, thanks to a new "property enhancement" aka renovation.
Above is how the resort looked when JetsetCD popped in. Keep reading to see what the resort looks like today!
Here's what we found on the menu at the hotel's poolside cafe, Cabana, located on the hotel's fourth floor rooftop. Aside from gluttonous casual fare such as nachos, burgers and fish tacos and lighter items like salads and salmon, the menu now holds a few special creations from Spork Foods, an organic and vegan cooking class in West Hollywood.
Such items include the Battered Avocado Tacos ($25) filled with house pickled purple onions and ranchero black beans and the Red Bean Veggie Burger Sliders ($21) served with a beet ketchup and veganaise on a gluten-free bun topped with a battered pickle.
Even if you don't adhere to a vegan diet, you can't deny how good these taste. C'mon, fried avocados? Also that beet ketchup is sweeter than it sounds.
Of course, these dishes might be food-truck inspired but the prices are totally Four Seasons. #treatyoself
Ok, technically the Four Seasons Explorer belongs to the two resorts that make up the Four Seasons Maldives and it's not a giant, thousand-room cruise ship, but still, it's a Four Seasons ship that you can sail and sleep on. #mindblown.
Below are some photos of the 11-cabin, three-deck catamaran, which sails between the two resorts for three, four or seven-night itineraries and private charters. Onboard, guests will have a private bar, a sun deck with massage services, twice daily housekeeping, a private chef, the services of a cruise director who will plan one-of-a-kind excursions and yes, free WiFi.
Here's an idea of what your schedule is like onboard:
Four Seasons Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Nobu / Doha Hotels / Nobu Hotels / Nobu Matsuhisa / Hotel News / → All Tags
UPDATE: The restaurant will now open on APRIL 17, 2015.
Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, is a busy man these days. In addition to growing his Nobu Hotels collection (Miami, Chicago and London hotels are all coming soon), he's also celebrating the 20th anniversary of his eponymous restaurant empire.
And what better way to celebrate than by opening the largest Nobu in the world (and the second one for the Middle East) inside one of the most luxe properties in the world, The Four Seasons Doha? It's like the Nobu version of #treatyoself.
The opening date for the 26,000-sq.ft. Rockwell Group-designed Nobu at The Four Seasons Doha is still uncertain, but when it's finished it will be quite an affair. Which is par for the course for over the-top Doha.
The restaurant will feature an expansive 192-seat interior dining area, intimate 10-seat sushi counter, two exclusive private dining rooms, and a one-of-a-kind 82-seat rooftop lounge that encompasses both indoor and outdoor seating options.
Elliptical ribbons of river stone capped with bronze accents form the exterior of the structure – resembling a coiled shell – creating the three-tiered levels of the restaurant. While incorporating design elements made from natural, rich materials that reflect the cuisine and roots of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, this location will reflect Doha’s specific history and culture. Since the city is known for pearl diving, Rockwell Group references this past in many layers of the design.
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It’s nearly the weekend, there's lots of hotel news that is worthy of your attention, so here are a few snippets to keep you up to date on the latest from around the world.
Four Seasons Carmelo, Uruguay: we could almost do a weekly feature called the Four Seasons Chronicles, because the news about the Canadian group keeps coming in. Upping its hotels in South America with two new properties in Colombia just a few weeks ago, now it’s down one again by virtue of the departure of the resort in Carmelo, Uruguay by March 31 this year. By early March we should find out which brand will come in its place.
Shangri-La in Mauritius and Sri Lanka: having gotten the opening of its hotel at the Shard in London out of the way in 2014, this year Shangri-La Hotels will have islands on its mind. First, in Mauritius, the former Oberoi Le Touessrok will become Shangri-La Le Touessrok in September following a major renovation. On Sri Lanka, Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa should open just before that, with a second property in capital Colombo to follow in 2017.
We've got perfect timing to recommend 3 more hot hotels in Chicago, following the fifth biggest snowstorm the city has ever seen. So without further adieu, strap on your snow boots, zip up your Moncler jacket and head straight to these Chicago hotels for some serious hibernating (or at least one night in a warm and pampering hotel):
The Palmer House Hilton: The Palmer House is steeped in Chicago tradition. It was originally bought by Potter Palmer as a wedding gift for his new bride Bertha (lucky lady). Thirteen days after its purchase, it burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire (huge bummer). But ole’ Potter persevered, rebuilding it from the ground up and it re-opened in 1873; it’s now the nation’s longest continually running hotel (and a very upscale Hilton).
The Lockwood Restaurant and its bar are stunning – and the cocktails start flowing at 11:00 am if you want to get an early start. Afternoon tea is served daily from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and room service is 24 hours. Make time for a visit to the Balance Spa, health club and indoor pool. Interested in Chicago history? Take the very cool “History is Hott” tour (you don’t even have to leave the hotel!) where you’ll learn interesting factoids like Chicago is actually named after an onion.
It’s pretty much a year and a half ago we learnt about Four Seasons coming to the South Korean capital of Seoul, and just as we have a better understanding of when exactly this year it will open and a first impression of what it will look like inside, the Canadian group throws in two more openings in the Colombian capital of Bogotá by the end of the year. We can’t keep up.
To cover off the Asian edition first, Four Seasons Seoul will open in September, just a few months after the initially predicted May arrival. Above that impression of a guestroom, of which there will be 317 in total, bringing in traditional Korean motifs centered around that new FS bed. Following what we saw in Johannesburg, we hope that that strong blue we spy is a sign of some interesting colors, fabrics, and patterns to find in the rooms. The brand new building will have seven places to eat and drink, including a “hidden drinking den” speakeasy. A website isn’t live yet, but when it is we’ll report back with details on rates and additional images.
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Prepare to feel old – really old. Pretty Woman came out 25 years ago. 25 years! A whole quarter of a century! Yup, we feel old too.
How much does it cost to feel pretty? Why, a minimum of $15,000.